This article is part of a refresh of our reward credit card reviews. Over the next few months, I’ll be revisiting, adding to and updating all of our in-depth credit card features. You can read the current series here.
UPDATE: This card has been pulled from the Barclaycard website and isn’t currently available to new applicants. More information on this development can be found in this article.
This is a route that I recommend to anyone who is wavering about the benefits of collecting loyalty points and rewards schemes in general.
There’s no better way of being completely persuaded of the attraction of loyalty points than enjoying a night at a luxury hotel like the Conrad Koh Samui or the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam and paying absolutely nothing to do so.
If you haven’t contemplated hotel loyalty schemes before, consider this:
If you saved up your Avios points for a return British Airways Club World redemption from London to San Francisco, you’d also have to part with roughly £500 in taxes and charges for those flights.
Hotel points redemptions, on the other hand, are generally exempt from taxes and service charges that hotels apply to regular cash bookings. With the exception of the ridiculous $25/$30 resort fees that some hotels tack on, that means a free night is really a free night.
How to earn this free night
The Hilton Honors Platinum Visa issued by Barclaycard offers a very lucrative welcome bonus. When you take out the card and spend £750 on it within 3 months you will receive a free weekend night voucher that can be used at any Hilton Hotels and Resorts property worldwide.
The best part is that this card has no annual fee.
Compared with the £2,000/£3,0000 of spending generally required to trigger the sign-up bonuses on various other cards, this £750 spend target should be far easier to complete.
You can find more info regarding this card on this page of the Barclaycard website.
Where and when can I use this voucher?
You can redeem your voucher for a free Friday, Saturday or Sunday night stay at a hotel of your choice.
Impressively, there are no excluded hotels or other such restrictions.
Although you’ll need to call Hilton to redeem your voucher, you can check availability on the Hilton website by selecting the “Use points”/”Pay with points” option when choosing a rate type.
As long as the hotel is showing a “Standard Room Reward” rate available, you will be able to redeem your free night voucher on that date.
Here are a few examples of where you can redeem your voucher:
How to redeem your free night
A key point to be aware of is that this voucher is valid for six months from the date of issue.
Therefore, you should time your card application and spend carefully to ensure you only trigger the voucher at a time that you can use it.
The voucher takes the form of an e-certificate that is emailed to the email address you have on your Barclaycard account. When available it will also appear in your Hilton Honors online account.
Although you are told it may take 6-8 weeks for the e-certificate to arrive, they seem to process them in batches and I have received an e-certificate within 3 weeks of applying for the card in the past.
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver Elite status for as long as you hold the card.
There are no life-changing perks that accompany Silver status although it does entitle you to a fifth night free when redeeming points for a free stay. You will also earn a 15% bonus on Hilton base points earned and some complimentary bottled water.
- Hilton Honors Gold Elite status after spending £10,000 in any calendar year.
Gold status is far more interesting and offers complimentary breakfast for you and a guest at the majority of Hilton properties including Waldorf-Astoria hotels. It also offers a space-available upgrade to a preferred room.
- 2,500 bonus points on each of your first four stays at any Hilton Hotels and Resorts property in the first 12 months of Cardmembership.
Day-to-day earnings rate
Beyond the welcome bonus, spending on the card will earn rewards at the following rates:
- 2 Hilton Honors points per £1 spent on everyday purchases.
- 3 Hilton Honors points per £1 spent at participating hotels at Hilton Hotels and Resorts Group worldwide.
Along with the Preferred Rewards Gold card from American Express (which I reviewed here), this is the card that I always recommend to readers who are just starting to dip a toe into the world of collecting airline miles and hotel points.
The free night voucher is a tremendous perk for a free card and a great way to get your first big redemption under your belt. If used well, the examples above show how easy it is to achieve well over £500 of value from it. To take this a step further, you can have your partner/travelling companion take out this card as well. You can then book your two free nights back to back and enjoy a fantastic luxury weekend away.
The representative APR is 18.9% variable
Disclaimer: The information provided by Tricks of the Trade is intended solely as a helpful guide to relevant travel rewards card products and their various features and offers. You should always conduct your own research as recommendations provided within may not be suitable for your personal financial circumstances.
Header image credit: (c) 2018 Conrad Hotels & Resorts